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$272M federal grant to expand broadband access will reshape internet access in Maine, officials say

Gabor Degre
/
Bangor Daily News

Maine officials are describing a $272 million federal grant to expand broadband access as "historic" and say it will reshape internet access within the state.

Maine Connectivity Authority President Andrew Butcher says about 30,000 locations across the state still have no internet connection, and many are in the most rural areas. Butcher says the grant will drastically expand fiber optics and other technologies to ensure that all of those locations have quality service.

"And we believe that a combination of different technology and operating models will be a stair step to making sure that all locations, the highest quality and most reliable and affordable broadband possible," Butcher says.

The new funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress two years ago.

The state is still accepting comments through the end of June on its plan for how to spend the funds.